After months of intense scrutiny of his scholarly work, Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced Wednesday that he will resign as president of Stanford University after an independent review of his research found significant flaws in studies he had overseen for decades.
The review, conducted by an outside panel of scientists, refuted the most serious claim regarding Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s work – which is An important 2009 Alzheimer’s study was the subject of an investigation that found falsified data and that Dr. Tessier Lavigne had covered it up.
The commission concluded that the allegation, which was reported in February by the Stanford Daily, the campus newspaper, “appears to be at fault” and that there is no evidence of fraudulent statements, or that Dr. Tessier-Lavin had otherwise been implicated in the fraud.
But the review also said that a 2009 study, conducted when he was a CEO at biotech company Genentech, had “multiple issues” and “fallen short of customary standards of scientific and practical rigor,” especially for a paper on such potential findings.
As a result of the review, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne said he would retract a 1999 paper that appeared in Cell and two others that appeared in Science in 2001. Two other papers published in Nature, including the 2009 Alzheimer’s disease study, will undergo what has been described as a sweeping correction.
Stanford is known for its leadership in scholarly research, and although the allegations involved works published before Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s arrival at the university in 2016, the allegations reflected poorly on the university’s integrity.
In a statement describing the reasons for his resignation, Dr. Tessier Lavigne said: “I expect that there may be an ongoing debate about the report and its conclusions, at least in the near term, which could lead to a discussion about my ability to lead the university in the new academic year.”
Dr. Tessier Lavigne, 63, will relinquish the chair at the end of August, but will remain at the university as a professor of biology.
The university has appointed Richard Saler, Professor of European Studies, as interim president, effective September 1.
As president of Stanford University, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne is best known for starting the university’s first new school in 70 years, the Doerr School of Sustainability. Opened last year, the school’s stated mission is to seek a solution to climate change.
the team An 89-page report, based on more than 50 interviews and a review of more than 50,000 documents, concluded that members of Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s laboratories engaged in inappropriate manipulation of research data or deficient scientific practices, resulting in significant flaws in five research papers that listed Dr. Tessier-Lavigne as lead author.
In several cases, the panel found that Dr. Tessier-Lavin had not taken sufficient steps to correct errors, and questioned his decision not to seek a correction in the 2009 paper after follow-up studies revealed his main finding to be incorrect.
The defects cited by the panel included 12 research papers, in which Dr. Tessier Lavigne was listed as either lead author or co-author. As a renowned neuroscientist, he has published more than 200 research papers, mainly focusing on the cause and treatment of degenerative brain diseases. Beginning in the 1990s, he worked at various institutions, including Stanford, Rockefeller University, UCSD, San Francisco, and Genentech, a biotechnology company.
The accusations first appeared years ago on PubPeer, a crowdsourcing website for publishing and discussing scholarly work. But it resurfaced after the student newspaper, The Stanford Daily, published a series of articles questioning the accuracy and honesty of the work produced in the labs supervised by Dr. Tessier-Lavigne.
The newspaper reported first Claims Last November, the images were manipulated in published papers that listed Dr. Tessier-Lavigne as either lead author or co-author.
In February, the campus newspaper published an article with more serious allegations of fraud related to a 2009 paper published by Dr. Tessier Lavigne when he was a senior scientist at Genentech.
A Stanford Daily report said an investigation by Genentech found that the 2009 study contained falsified data, and that Dr. Tessier Lavigne She tried to hide her results.
It also reported that a postdoctoral researcher who worked on the study was caught by Genentech for falsifying data.
Both Dr. Tessier Lavigne and the former researcher, now a physician working in Florida, have vigorously denied the allegations, which relied heavily on unnamed sources.
Noting that in some cases, the panel was unable to identify the unnamed sources cited in The Stanford Daily story, the panel said the newspaper’s claim that “Genentech conducted a fraud investigation and identified fraud,” in the study “appears to be false.” The report stated that no such investigation was conducted.
After the paper’s initial report on the tampered studies in November, the Stanford board formed a special committee to review the claims, chaired by Carol Lamm, a Stanford trustee and former federal prosecutor. The special committee then assigned Mark Phillip, a former Illinois federal judge, and his law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, to conduct the review.
In January, it was announced that Mr. Phillip had also enlisted the five-member scientific panel — which included the Nobel laureate and former Princeton president — to examine the claims from a scientific perspective.
Genentech described the 2009 study as a major breakthrough, with Dr. Tessier-Lavigne describing the results during the study Power point to Genentech investors as a completely new and different way of looking at the Alzheimer’s disease process.
The study focused on what it said was the previously unknown role of a protein in the brain — death receptor 6 — in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
As has been the case with many new theories of Alzheimer’s disease, a central finding of the study was found to be incorrect. After several years of attempts to replicate the results, Genentech eventually abandoned the investigational line.
Dr. Tessier-Lavigne left Genentech in 2011 to head Rockefeller University but, along with the company, has published subsequent work acknowledging the failure to confirm key parts of the research.
Recently, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne told STAT NEWS publication that there had been inconsistencies in the results of the trials, which he blamed Impure protein samples.
One of the issues with the scientific process was cited by the panel, which also criticized Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s decision not to correct the original paper as “suboptimal” but within the confines of scientific practice.
In his statement, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne said that he had earlier tried to issue corrections to Cell and Science papers, but Cell refused to publish a correction and Science failed to publish a correction after agreeing to do so.
The panel’s findings confirmed an April report by Genentech, which He said Its internal review of the Stanford Daily’s allegations found no evidence of “fraud, fabrication, or other intentional wrongdoing.”
Most of the committee’s report, some 60 pages long, is a detailed appendix to an image analysis of 12 published scientific papers on which Dr. Tessier-Lavigne served as either author or co-author, some going back 20 years.
The commission found multiple instances of images in the papers being duplicated or cut up but concluded that Dr. Tessier-Lavigne was not involved in the manipulation, was not aware of it at the time, and was not reckless in failing to discover it.
Oliver Wang Contribute to the preparation of reports.